Facts About Professional Dental Cleaning You Should Know
Most people understand the importance of brushing and flossing. However, not everyone realizes that these daily dental hygiene routines aren’t enough to keep teeth in their best possible condition. Without professional teeth cleaning in Denver every six months, your teeth won’t be completely free of bacteria, plaque, and tartar.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Professional Dental Cleaning
What Is Professional Dental Cleaning?
Professional dental cleaning refers to a preventative procedure performed by dentists or dental hygienists to help patients achieve and maintain optimum oral health. According to dental health experts, patients should schedule a professional dental cleaning appointment every six months. However, some patients may need to come in more often.
During the treatment, the dental care provider eliminates the unwanted substances that form on the surfaces of teeth and gums. These substances include the sticky film of bacteria called plaque and the hard calcified deposits called tartar. Dentists and dental hygienists use various instruments or tools that effectively loosen and remove these deposits.
Why Is It Necessary?
Achieving the ideal level of oral health won’t be possible unless you schedule regular professional dental cleaning appointments in conjunction with proper home dental care habits. If you think that this recommendation smacks of overkill, think again. Within two days following a professional cleaning, your teeth and gums will face a resurgence of the cavity-causing bacteria that your dentist removed.
When it comes to minimizing the presence of harmful bacteria, thorough brushing and flossing can only do so much. Even if you consider yourself a meticulous brusher and flosser, your dentist will still find plaque and tartar on your teeth during your next dental checkup in six months. The last thing you want is to let all that plaque sit on your teeth until it calcifies onto the surface and becomes immune to home dental hygiene methods.
What Are the Standard Dental Tools for Professional Dental Cleanings?
Dentists and dental hygienists use the following dental tools during professional teeth cleanings:
- Dental Mirrors
Dental professionals use mirrors to examine the surfaces of teeth and gums at the back of the mouth. These tools can come with fiberglass or metal frames and rhodium-plated mirrors. Their high-tech surfaces offer magnification capabilities, avoid image distortion, and illuminate the mouth’s interior by reflecting the light from above.
Although some dental mirrors have handles made out of resin material, others are made out of stainless steel. Many dentists prefer to use disposable dental mirrors because they’re easier to manipulate than reusable ones. Since disposable mirrors are lightweight, they help reduce wrist fatigue.
These hand-held metal tools are used to scrape off the plaque and calculus from the surfaces of teeth. Each scaler comes with a pointed end used to clean the tooth section above the gum line. Alternatively, its curved blunt end is used to clean below the gum line without causing damage to the gum tissue.
These tools are designed to polish newly cleaned teeth to make them as white and shiny as possible. The most widely used polishers are prophy angles, and small rubber caps fitted to a low-speed rotary electric device. Moreover, the dentist uses mild to moderate abrasive paste to buff away uneven areas.
What Are the Different Types of Professional Dental Cleaning?
Dentists perform different types of dental cleanings based on the amount of plaque and tartar they find on the patient’s teeth during their dental exam. These include the following:
- Prophylaxis Dental Cleaning
The term “prophylaxis” means an action taken to ensure disease prevention. Dentists use prophylaxis dental cleanings to prevent healthy teeth from tooth decay or gum disease.
They use a dental scaler or water stream to remove plaque and tartar from the front, back, and sides of your teeth. You’ll only require this type of cleaning if you maintain a strong home dental hygiene regimen and schedule semi-annual dental appointments.
- Scaling and Root Planing Cleaning
Also known as deep cleanings, scaling and root planing cleanings are typically used to treat gingivitis and periodontitis. It usually takes a single dental appointment to complete deep cleanings for gingivitis. Alternatively, deep cleanings for periodontitis may require multiple appointments and the use of local anesthetics.
Scaling refers to the process of removing plaque and tartar from teeth and inside the gum pockets that form below the gum line as a result of periodontal disease. Besides removing large amounts of bacteria, scaling also minimizes gum inflammation. On the other hand, root planing helps eliminate gum pockets by smoothing the roots of teeth to make it easier for the gums to reattach to them.
- Periodontal Maintenance Cleaning
Like scaling and root planing cleanings, periodontal maintenance cleanings are used to treat periodontal disease by removing excess plaque and tartar from the teeth and gum pockets. If necessary, the dentist also smooths out the roots of teeth during the process.
However, unlike other types of dental cleanings, periodontal maintenance cleanings are done more frequently to stop gum disease dead in its tracks. Otherwise, this progressive oral health condition will worsen over time.
- Gross Debridement Cleaning
If a patient’s teeth have copious amounts of plaque and tartar, the dentist may recommend the most heavy-duty of all types of dental cleanings – gross debridement cleaning. Moreover, this procedure is commonly performed on individuals who struggle to maintain an oral hygiene regimen or those who avoid the dentist for an extended period.
The dentist uses an electrical tool to loosen significant amounts of plaque and tartar during a gross debridement cleaning. Once completed, they usually follow it up with prophylaxis dental cleaning to ensure thorough cleaning.
How Long Has It Been Since Your Last Teeth Cleaning in Denver?
The team of dental professionals at Makowski Dental understands how intimidating and stressful it can be to head over to the dentist’s office. For this reason, we work hard to ensure your comfort and convenience during your visit with us. We’ll discuss your current condition, the treatment you’ll undergo, and what you can reasonably expect.
Since we have the skillset and experience required to treat a wide range of oral health issues, you can rely on us to provide you with the complete and customized dental care you want and deserve. Get in touch with our office today to make an appointment.